Life is not waiting for the storm to pass; it is about learning to dance in the rain.

Sometimes you come across a phrase or piece of poetry that helps you see life differently. This phrase was on the front of a notebook that someone had given me a while back and I used it to help prepare for my sister Angela’s funeral.
Whilst I sat writing by her bedside, in the last hours of her life, it struck me that this phrase, described how she had decided to live her life following the sudden death of her husband Christopher, less than two years previously, and her diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumours only nine months after that.
Learning to live life differently, using what we have, to be who we might actually be, underneath the layers, is real gift and Angela would note every single gift and continued ability that she was given each day, however small the achievements.
It’s about taking the opportunity to grasp what we have been given and, even though there are things that weigh heavy on our soul, there are other ways to live the life we have set before us.
Seeing things differently, the long-term picture or the short-term reality, helps inform how we make our choices, take our opportunities and to reconcile our differences.
Even those of us with a faith struggle when things are tough. I came across a second phrase, this time on the internet, which I felt to be amazingly helpful.
Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort and letting it be there until some light returns. (Anne Lamott)
It’s about being; being in a place which is grey, shadowy and alien to us. Being in a situation where we want to run in the opposite direction but there are no signposts to guide us, no places of security and familiarity to show us the way and we feel desolate, confused and in pain.
Psalm 46:10 urges us to “Be still and know that I am God”. The answer is there in His Presence. To wait, to look around and to acknowledge where we are and, eventually and slowly, we realise that the darkness is just a shade lighter, that there are chinks or light breaking through and that there are elements of ourselves which we might just be able recognise as happy or at least happier.
When watching and waiting with Angela, it felt like we were in the Garden of Gethsemane Matthew 26:41. The pain of inevitability and the reality that confronted us. As Jesus said “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39.
It was not easy, face to face with death, even for Jesus, for He was to sacrifice Himself on the cross, taking our sins upon Himself so that we might live. His family, his friends would have mourned His loss. They would have faced confusion. They would have cried out with grief and trauma and wondered why.
God joins us in that pain and devastation. He knows our struggles and anxieties and waits patiently for us to be able to come near to Him for comfort and consolation.
In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, we are all trying to find ways of living differently. The landscape is unfamiliar and the things we have taken for granted, have been removed from us and we don’t know how long all of this will go on.
Yet, sitting in the mess and half-light, there are some shining examples of kindness and generosity. People who may have been quietly letting life pass them by see this as a golden opportunity to be there for their community.
Others who have led such busy lives now see this as a chance to spend time with their family instead of filling up a day and a diary with things which somehow now, don’t seem as important as they did a month ago.
It’s time to be creative, to dust off the paintbrushes, knitting needles and cameras. To engage with what’s around us and within us and learn simply to be.
There is no doubt that we are facing severe challenges, but it may also be a way to live life differently, and we may be all the richer for it.
Praying for you today and in the coming days. Elaine.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.